Dec. 12, 2011

How to: Host at Home This Holiday

This Christmas and winter will bring a series of new entertaining opportunities, as our old traditions of leisurely evenings spent in candle lit restaurants and sipping champagne at friends' homes give way to pizza and sledding afternoons, neighbourhood caroling events with hot chocolates in hand, brunches with babies in tow and a Christmas Eve dessert party (so excited!). Our home has become the most comfortable (for us) venue for an event (hello crib, nappies, toys and plenty of sleepers in arms reach), so for that reason I've brainstormed this list of must keep items to entertain at home this Christmas. For me, this is the recipe for successful, stress-free party planning.

  • A stocked iPod waiting in the docking station with a range of holiday tunes (you could even organize by function type: kid-friendly, Christmas jazz, and rock and roll classics)
  • Pretty festive napkins to dress up your white dishware
  • Candles and matches in easy reach to quickly set the mood if an unexpected guest appears at your door
  • Long lasting flowers, such as evergreen arrangements and paperwhites, that will see you through to Old Christmas Day
The Bar:
  • Chilled champagne in the fridge to pop in the event someone announces a new baby or engagement (and if no one does, savour it when, by the second week in January, you've already given up on your new years resolution)
  • A decanter and stemless wine glasses to make even the most basic red seem special
  • Ice cubes made with ginger ale to spice up juice cocktails for breastfeeding, tea toting and expectant moms
The Table:
  • Instant hors d'oeuvres - a baguette from the Georgestown Bakery, balsamic vinegar from Jumping Bean, and prosciutto from the Rocket Bakery
  • Instant dessert - Moo Moos vanilla ice cream served with a shot of espresso on top
  • Instant cheese tray - Head to Belbin's and pick up a hard, a soft, an old and a blue cheese (be sure to have at least one each of cow, goat and sheep cheese) to pop on a cutting board and serve with walnuts, cried cranberries, rice crackers and some marmalade (delicious with blue cheese).
How are you preparing to host this holiday season? Image via Decor 8.

This is the first in a series of 'how tos' that will appear on Horizontal Stripes. If you're curious to hear this blog's take on some activity, please leave a suggestion in the comments. xo